In progress
Shira Lynn Broschat


Activity Start Date 
January 1, 2016
Target Completion Date 
December 31, 2017
Goal statement 
Pacesetters Goal #2: Increase retention of female students post-CptS 223 and CptS 233, Advanced Data Structures C/C++ and Advanced Data Structures Java, from approximately 50% to 60% by fall 2017.


Washington State University
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Activity Description 

The Advanced Data Structures course (CptS 223 or CptS 233) is a key course in our CS curriculum. Our data for CptS 223 indicate that both female and male students exit the major at this point, i.e., either while taking or after taking CptS 223. The material is appreciably harder because they are learning many key concepts, and it is also the first course in which they do not have a structured lab. Our data also show that many more female students retake this course compared to male students.

We believe that a simple intervention may help all our students with this fundamental course. While the instructor and teaching assistants are available for help, we will also add open tutorial lab sections with undergraduate teaching assistants so that students can see some actual code rather than just pseudocode, which seems to be their biggest complaint. We also think this may help some of our better female students improve their grades in this course so those who typically get high grades won't switch to another major because they received a C+ or even a low B.

We will use enrollment numbers in CptS 223 and CptS 233 as well as enrollment numbers for the courses that follow them.

Goal tag(s)